Jukebox, RJB


We may not stay, not even with the most familiar things.

No sooner is the image comprehended than the mind

Accelerates into the waiting emptiness: and therefore

Only in eternity shall we encounter lakes.

Falling is all we must hope for, falling

From the known into the guessed-at, falling further.

(more…)

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We travel like everyone else, but we return to nothing. As if travel were

a path of clouds. We buried our loved ones in the shade of clouds and

between roots of trees. (more…)

I
Indifferent to the indifference that conceived her,
Grown buxom in disorder now, she accepts
– Like dirt, strangers, or moss upon her churches –
Your tribute to the wharf of circumstance,
Rejected sidestreet, formal monument …
And, irresistible, the thoroughfare. (more…)

Far from the Rappahannock, the silent
Danube moves along toward the sea.
The brown and green Nile rolls slowly
Like the Niagara's welling descent.
Tractors stood on the green banks of the Loire
Near where it joined the Cher.
The St. Lawrence prods among black stones
And mud. But the Arno is all stones.

(more…)

Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jack-knife has Macheath dear
And he keeps it out of sight

When the shark bites with his teeth dear
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves though wears Macheath dear
So there’s not a trace of red

On the side walk Sunday mornin’
Lies a body oozing life
Someone sneakin’ round the corner
Is that someone Mack the Knife (more…)

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunckless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

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